Day 6: Be Attentive

BY TOM CHABOLLA | March 2, 2020
Today’s Readings

Today’s well-worn Gospel passage seems to imply that perhaps both the sheep and the goats were unaware of the impact of their actions. Both ask, “When did we see you…?” 

At a recent retreat of Jesuit Volunteers, one of them reflected on the readings of the day by sharing a line from the Mary Oliver poem, “The Summer Day:”  “I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. But I know how to pay attention…”


To be a sheep in this parable, in fact, requires one to be attentive. Attentive to the values, experiences, and biases we carry with us. Awareness about how we consciously or unconsciously are complicit in perpetuating systems that promote inequity. And the “we” in the passage suggests that this attentiveness is not only an individual practice but a communal responsibility.

What I’ve observed as I’ve listened to our Jesuit Volunteers share their experiences is the importance they place on being attentive to the plight of those they serve; to the systems and structures that perpetuate unjust conditions, economic disparities, political disenfranchisement, and racism; and attentiveness to where their hearts are pulling them in response to those experiences. 

The practice of Ignatian spirituality helps us to be attentive to our passions to discover our purpose and vocation. It helps us to have confidence to discern where our hearts are leading us. Our God is a following God…following us as we discover our purpose and how we will do our part to create glimpses of the just society where all people flourish.

1 reply
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Trying to create glimpses of the just society where all people flourish is a challenging mission. Worth trying again and again. There is joy in repeating the humble exercise.


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